Leadership Strategies

Improving Communication between Management and Employees

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Communication is the key to success in any relationship. When a lack of communication exists in the organizational setting it has the potential to cause significant problems between management and employees. If this absence of interaction persists in the workplace, matters typically go unaddressed.

As a result conflict often arises and problems remain unresolved because of the absence of communication. A lack of verbal exchanges commonly increase resentments and this usually further escalates the situation. Fortunately this kind of situation can be reversed by making a few changes in the organizational environment.

The best way to avoid communication related issues is to encourage an atmosphere which promotes open communication. Leaders can effectively set the environment to be communication friendly by establishing policies which welcome the exchange of ideas. Employees are likely to respond favorably and will probably embrace any opportunity to share ideas when encouraged.

What are some guiding principles or corrective actions leaders can put into place to improve communication between management and employees?

*Establish an open door policy

A definitive way to improve communication between management and employees is for managers to create an open door policy to welcome any thoughts, comments, complaints or suggestions. When employees are encouraged to share feelings, it gives a sense of empowerment where they feel comfortable making contact with their managers to voice their concerns.

When managers sit behind closed doors and remain aloof, only coming out of their offices from time to time to check up on things, employees aren't usually at ease talking to their bosses when issues arise; as a result problems fester because they remain unaddressed.

Establishing an open door policy effectively removes that discomfort. This not only improves communication but also benefits the organization as a whole.

*Nurture a team environment

Another way to foster solid communication is for leaders to consider themselves a team member, not act as someone who managers the members. When managers take an active part in the daily activities and maintain an avid interest in what goes on during the day employees are more inclined to relate to their bosses.

This makes them feel more comfortable approaching the boss. Organizational studies indicate that businesses which do not put total emphasis on hierarchical status, but rather work off a horizontal flat scale have stronger communication; as an added benefit the team environment also opens the door for innovative ideas and increases productivity.

*Town meetings

Regular staff meetings which are formed on the basis of sharing information and ideas are another good way to develop strong communications between management and employees. These meetings create a forum which allows everyone to have a voice and when people feel they have a platform to speak up about matters, better communication follows.

*Third party trainings

If poor communication creates a strained workplace, sometimes it's a good idea to bring in a neutral party to mediate and try to pinpoint the root of the problem. Since this process is confidential it alleviates any employee fear of retribution or apprehensiveness about speaking up. Leadership can evaluate the results of the surveys taken and subsequently make strides to improve the areas which cause communication to falter.

*Create a motivating environment

To further improve communication, management should put heavy attention on discovering what motivates their employees. An environment which stimulates excitement and enthusiasm for the job is also one which is likely to have better communication amongst its members.

Communication is vital and lies at the heart of any successful organization. When solid communication exists in the workplace it eliminates many of the stressful issues which can occur within an organization.

When management can effectively nurture an environment which encourages open and truthful communication, it will benefit both management and employees. Strong communication in the workplace is positive for the overall good of the business.

More about this author: Leigh Goessl

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